In May 1918, Chief of Rear Services Rudolf Walden assigned a committee to discuss the future of the Civil Guard. Volunteers were faster to act, and in June, a meeting to develop the operations of the Guard was held in Viitasaari among the Guards of Central Finland. A national assembly soon convened in Jyväskylä, where representatives of 155 Guards aimed to establish a nationwide organization founded in patriotic and moral forces.

On the 4th and 5th of July, the following declarations were made in Jyväskylä:

  • The Civil Guard would be an army reserve that offered military training.
  • A Civil Guard would be established in every municipality, dividing the country into Civil Guard districts.
  • Operations would be voluntary on principle, but new members could be conscripted into the Guard if necessary.

Walden’s committee, led by Major V. A. Kotilainen, drafted a statute based on the Jyväskylä assembly. The Senate issued a decree establishing the Civil Guard organization on August 8th, describing the Guards as promoters of defensive capability and protectors of lawful order. The statute was soon updated in February 1919, when Regent Mannerheim appointed Colonel Didrik von Essen as the commander-in-chief of the Guard.

The Civil Guard was not regularized by law until late 1927. According to the law, the organization was part of the nation’s military forces and existed for the purpose of defending the homeland and its public order.

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